Salted Sidewalks and Side Dishes

Snow days are the dream right? You wake up thinking you have school and then you don’t! Lazy, lounging, movies, snow play, snow ice cream, all the fun memories and time to just be home. I think sometimes God brings snow in just to stop us from the bustle. Everyone cancels things and lives pause. A day off in the middle of the week. It can get inconvenient when not everyone in the house gets a snow day. Thankfully Grandma was available to have the girls over today while I worked. Funerals and ministry don’t always allow for snow days and that’s ok.

My routine and structure has become such a necessity for me over the last few months. It helps keep my mental health in check and I thrive in a routine. Yesterday and today have been a big mess of cancellations, changed plans, and unmet expectations. My mind started to race this morning as I felt this deep anger that I couldn’t just rest and relax with my girls today. I wanted to stay home, play, rest, watch movies, snuggle and just be with them, but it wasn’t going to happen.

One of the men of our church came by as we were setting up for a funeral meal and we got to visiting. Things were set up and ready, we were just waiting on some food items and he mentioned that he had come up early this morning and salted the sidewalks. He didn’t say it to be recognized, he just mentioned it as we were talking about the parking lot and hoping no one would fall trying to come in. He came up here, before anyone else this morning and salted and shoveled the sidewalks. Because he has a servant’s heart. He just did it.

Multiple women from our church came up with their hot dishes of food, salad and rolls. They came up, brought food, served, cleaned and we even got to sit for a bit and just visit. I mentioned how thankful I was that they came in such bad conditions and they didn’t even hesitate. They said, “of course!”.

wow.

Sometimes we have these ideas about what our day is going to look like, what we want it to look like, we justify our attitudes, moods and frustrations when things don’t go how we intend.  I’m thankful Grandma is so available and even lives between us and the church. I’m thankful that Nick works close by. I’m thankful I have a job, I am surrounded by people who serve. It didn’t make it any less sad that I was missing out on such a sweet day at home with my girls. I had to start making some choices. I could sit and wallow. I could be mad and let the anxiety keep building or I could let someone in and begin to make the right choices to stop the toxic thought from spiraling. I did that. It helped and God showed me through HIS PEOPLE how to remain in perspective and thankful even in the midst of let down.

I’m honestly so humbled to know, do life with, worship beside and serve with the people God has placed in my life. Thank you Cody for thinking of others before yourself so early this morning in the cold. Thank you for using your abilities to gift others with safety. Thank you for grabbing chicken strips for the meal too. Thank you for being such a servant leader. Thank you to my friends Debbie and Diana. I so enjoyed talking with you at lunch and just being friends with you both. I’m thankful for all the ladies, Kathy, Jan, Lynette, Barbara, Lacey, Gail, and the staff I work and serve with daily. Everyone shows up and God does what he does.

I usually need the humbling reminder that ministry is worth it. I don’t need the reminder of how hard it is at times. God gently and lovingly reminds me that we are all in this together and that He receives glory and praise through our fellowship as we gather around tables of fried chicken, salad and side dishes as much as when we lift our hands in praise on a Sunday. He is glorified in the shoveling of the sidewalk early in the morning as much as he is from the pulpit.

You have been given gifts. You can buy a salad and throw it in a bowl. You can bake a cake. You can shovel sidewalks. You can run a sound board. You can speak comfort and love to hurting families. You can simply show up and support by sitting in a seat to honor a loved one. You can sweep a floor or wash a table cloth. You can’t do it all, but you can do the one thing he’s given you to do. We wonder how God could possibly use us for his glory and his purpose, but we just aren’t getting it. He uses it all.

He reminded me today that serving isn’t always convenient. If I push past the convenience I get the opportunity to see the beauty of the Body of Christ on a snowy Wednesday in February.

Don’t be fooled, friends. Serving the Lord isn’t always a big thing on a stage. It is simply doing what you can in the moment, obeying the call to love one another.IMG_0481

Today I #foundtheheart by watching other people be the heart of Christ. Look up and look around. There are people all around you showing up for the Lord in the smallest of ways that end up turning out to be the biggest of blessings.

#findingtheheart seemed really difficult earlier today, but my how Jesus showed up big in his people today. I’m so humbled and blessed.

I hope you find the heart today.

Shaina

 

 

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